Advanced Brain Imaging Technology May Provide Doctors More Time to Treat Strokes

New research indicates that doctors may have more time to effectively respond to ischemic strokes. Strokes represent the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing 142,142 people in 2016. Approximately 85% of the 800,000 people that suffer strokes every year experience an ischemic stroke.

Two studies recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that doctors may have up to 1624 hours to save threatened brain tissue from a blockage in a major blood vessel leading to the brain. Prior to the new findings, medical professionals believed that endovascular thrombectomy, the surgical removal of the clot, was only effective if performed within 6 hours after the onset of the stroke.

Though some brain tissue dies immediately after a stroke begins, collateral blood vessels supply blood to a larger area of the brain that is deprived of oxygen, providing more time for doctors to clear the blockage and save the endangered brain tissue. Advanced CT imaging and MRIs can estimate how much brain tissue has been irreversibly damaged by the lack of oxygen and what brain tissue is salvageable. The advanced imaging techniques allow doctors to better identify the patients who will respond well to endovascular treatment.

The studies have upended much of what the medical community previously understood about strokes. Accordingly, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have published new guidelines for the management of patients with acute ischemic stroke. The guidelines recommend a 24-hour window for clot removal and also expand eligibility for rtPA, a clot dissolving drug used to treat ischemic strokes.

Strokes can be lethal and prompt treatment is necessary for survival. Despite the increased window of opportunity to treat patients with ischemic strokes, healthcare professionals continue to provide negligent medical care to stroke patients. The attorneys at Abramson, Brown & Dugan have a successful track record representing stroke victims and their families in medical negligence actions. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been harmed by stroke-related malpractice.

Abramson, Brown & Dugan Attorney, Nick Abramson, receives Robert E. Kirby Award

Abramson, Brown & Dugan is proud to announce that Attorney Nick Abramson has received the New Hampshire Bar Foundation’s prestigious Robert E. Kirby Award, given to one lawyer aged 35 or under of “great skill, civility, and good humor.”  The award has been given to many now-prominent members of the New Hampshire legal community, including federal and state judges, senators, and former United States Attorneys.  Nick is only the 22nd attorney to receive the award since its inception, joining his colleague, AB&D attorney Holly Haines, who received the award in 2011.  Nick’s recognition as the Kirby Award winner exemplifies the quality of legal services provided at Abramson, Brown & Dugan.  If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of medical malpractice, a motor vehicle incident, or some other negligence, please contact Nick or one of our other experienced attorneys for a free consultation.

Prevalence of Stroke in Younger Adults Steadily Rising, According to 2017 Study

Between 1938 and 2007, stroke was the third leading cause of death in the United States before it fell to fifth in 2013. This decline in stroke mortality “reflects the improved control of hypertension…increased use of aspirin [and] improvements in stroke care.” Yet, the rate of decline in people aged 65 and older is nearly double the rate in people between 45-64 years of age. In fact, new research indicates that the incidence of stroke in the latter age group has increased.

A recent study that analyzed stroke hospitalization rates between 1995 and 2012 concluded that the rate of ischemic stroke hospitalization of young adults has risen continuously since 1995. The study examined data sets between 2003 and 2012, revealing 362,339 ischemic stroke hospitalizations in 2003-2004 and 421,815 in 2011-2012.

More specifically, the data showed that acute ischemic stroke hospitalizations significantly increased among men and women between the ages of 18 and 54. Since 1995-1996, the hospitalization rates for men between the ages of 18-34 and 35-44 have nearly doubled, with an increase of 41.5% among 35-44 year-old between 2003 and 2012.  The rates for women in the same age groups increased by 30% over the same period.

Though improved imaging and detection methods may account for this increase in hospitalization rates, researchers believe the increase of the risk factors in the general population may also explain the rising rates. The study found that the incidence of stroke risk factors among young adults hospitalized for ischemic stroke increased steadily among men and women between 18-64 years. Such risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, tobacco use, and obesity. The likelihood of having three or more of the five common risk factors doubled in both men and women since 1995.

Despite the improved diagnostic methods, healthcare professionals continue to miss clear signs of stroke in young adults. The attorneys at Abramson, Brown & Dugan have successfully representing stroke victims and their families in medical negligence actions. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been harmed by stroke-related malpractice.


5 ABD Attorneys Selected as Best Lawyers® in America 2019

Abramson, Brown & Dugan is pleased to announce that five of its attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 Edition. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as “the definitive guide to legal excellence” because it is based on over ten million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

Mark A. Abramson was selected in Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. This marks the 24th consecutive year that Mark has achieved this honor.

Eva H. Bleich was selected in Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs for the third year in a row.

Kevin F. Dugan was selected in both Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs for the 12th consecutive year.

Jared R. Green was selected in the practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation — Plaintiffs as well as Product Liability Litigation — Plaintiffs for the second year.

And Holly B. Haines has been selected in both Medical Malpractice Law — Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs for the third year in a row.  She was selected as Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs litigation for 2019.

Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 87,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), and we have received almost 10 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Unsolicited Patient Observations Help Identify Surgeons More Likely to Commit Malpractice

If you feel disrespected by your surgeon, it might be time to find a new doctor. According to a paper published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, patients that receive care from surgeons associated with the highest numbers of patient complaints have a higher likelihood of experiencing surgical complications. Read more

New Hampshire Should Adopt a Safe Patient Ratio Statute

Nurses Take D.C., a nurse-driven grassroots movement, is calling attention to a serious problem in healthcare: the understaffing of healthcare facilities across the country. Unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios are contributing to increased morbidity and mortality for patients. The omissions of important nursing care are “often unrecognized errors affecting patient safety.” Deficient staffing is associated with high burnout rates for nurses and creates unsafe working environments. Nurse-to-patient ratios significantly influence in-hospital mortality.  Read more